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Speer: Snyder keeps positive, moving forward

August 24, 2012
Bill Speer - Editor/Publisher , The Alpena News

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder isn't your normal politician.

Neither is he necessarily "one tough nerd" as he called himself during the gubernatorial campaign.

What he is I believe is a sincere man who wants to change the business climate of the state.

Some will disagree and scoff at that observation. Others will call me naive. I'm fine with all of that.

As vice president of the Michigan Press Association, I have had the opportunity to hear the governor many times. I never am disappointed.

Do I always hear everything I want to hear? Hardly.

Are there times I wish he would tackle issues differently? Of course there are.

To think anyone is going to agree with us 100 percent of the time is foolish.

While at times we might each have a different perspective to a particular issue, I always am convinced after hearing him of his sincerity in genuinely wanting to resolve the issue in the way he has identified as being best.

"Positive, relentless action." It is Snyder's mantra. I haven't heard him yet not use it during a presentation.

Yet I expect in the governor's case, it is more than a mantra. I believe it is the principle, or barometer, he applies to each and every decision before him. He won't rest until he has pursued a resolution to the issues confronting him.

More to the point, he cares little about who is at fault, where the blame should be laid, or where the finger should be pointed. Instead, he is concerned with solving the problem, correcting it, then moving forward in a direction that benefits everyone.

If you think about and reflect upon his months in office, I expect you would be hard pressed to remember an issue where he singled out a particular person or group to lay blame at their feet.

Certainly he would have loved to have singled out some of the Detroit council, for instance, for bucking him every step of the way over the financial problems facing that city. Likewise he hasn't been happy with those who oppose him on his proposal to build a new international bridge in Detroit.

Yet that isn't his style. He prefers to remain detached from the name calling and politics surrounding such issues, and instead work to the conclusion he believes best.

Are there politics in play? Absolutely. I can only imagine the arm twisting and wrestling that took place behind closed doors between his associates and the other side.

But in public he rarely criticizes, rarely shows a frown. He is all about pushing ahead, improving the economy, securing more jobs and getting the state back up on its feet.

And he is is accomplishing those goals.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm would counter if their administrations had been reversed in time, she would have been able to do much the same. Certainly if she had enjoyed a Democrat-controlled Legislature, she believes it also would have made a difference.

I would agree, up to a point. I still don't think Granholm would ultimately have been as successful, simply because she was a poor communicator with the Legislature. I think Snyder has much more the respect and cooperation from the opposing party, simply because he listens to them. And, if their idea is better than his, he hasn't been afraid to change.

As I sat at Alpena Community College and listened to the governor, a friend next to me leaned over and shared "This guy sure isn't a politician - he's good!"

Indeed he is.

It's all that "positive, relentless action."

Be careful, or it might be contagious.



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